Artists say more legal spaces for street art will lead to less illegal graffiti

Artists in Nottingham are appealing for more legal space for street art amidst claims that it will result in less graffiti.

Artists are only free to paint on the walls of Tornari Sports in Beeston on Sundays and are calling for change.

Nottingham painters are advocating for more space and have stated that their city is behind places like Leicester, holding 12 sizeable painting sites.

A local graffiti artist, who has painted using the alias ‘Coyote’ since the 1980s, said: “Free sites will cut down tagging but it’ll never disappear because it’s part of the culture.

“The public interreact with the paintings, it’s like a free art gallery. But others don’t appreciate it. We aren’t just yobbos, there are different branches of our culture.

“Its origins lie in the hip hop movement of the 1980s, and there are spots still going that date from then.

“Legal sites will give us the freedom to paint better.”

Jeanie Barton, 43, a musician from Nottingham, has also successfully negotiated another designated space in the city for artists to paint freely.

She said: “It was remarkably easy to negotiate, and these spaces would save the council a lot of money.

“Hopefully more will follow in other areas that are council owned, like underpasses.

“People painting don’t have any time to paint anything really nice because they are on the run from the law.

“With these new spaces, they could create something stunning with their kids.

“It will absolutely bring the level of illegal graffiti right down.

“Nottingham has a big problem. Places like Leicester don’t have that big problem.

Ms Barton added that views of Nottingham artist held by authorities are misconstrued.

She said: “The Council seems to think that they use a secret code for drug dealing. This is slightly far-fetched.

“Painting is a surprisingly social thing. They just want to hang out together and paint.

“There’s an assumption that people are rock hard drug dealing maniacs, but the one’s I’ve met are really nice. They are average people, like postmen.

“I have more of empathy, but those in corporate jobs are quite intimidated by creative people. We can look a bit whacky.

“With any new spaces, we need to make sure there’s no overspill into anywhere that’s considered dangerous.

“The City Council were very keen in the first instance, but it’s left high and dry by people moving jobs.

“Their replacements are being really slow. You really have to nag, it’s just not their priority.

“Sometimes you feel like you’re screaming into the wind, but there’s clear proven logic in what we are asking for.”

This comes after an NHS mural connecting Queens Medical Centre and City Hospital was graffitied last week.

Ms Barton said: “It’s a shame. Walls with art on already are less likely in my experience to be vandalised than walls that are just plain.

“But there’s no guarantee. The initial artist can just come back and cover it up”.